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Summer menus – do you dare to buck the trend at your wedding?

So summer is upon us and we feel it’s our duty to share some key food and drink ideas to inspire our summer brides to mix things up a little.  Hashtag #NotEverydayTraditionalSometimesModernTwist also simply known as getting with the times.  I hear from so many couples that they need to serve this, that or the other because it’s expected.  Well I am here to confirm that it’s ok to have a little say in what YOU want and also start a trend or two in the process. Alright let’s go.

First thing is the Menu. I’ve been to so many Caribbean and African weddings where we serve……wait for it…..Caribbean and African food. Why is this? Now hold on…..I can feel some of you getting ready to go to town on me and tell me how important food is to ‘our people’ and believe me, as a full on lover of 99% of ‘yard food’ (cow foot excluded from this statement), I get it. The food is one of the few major deal breakers of the wedding day, the others being the dress and the booze.

But my question is, why must we serve the same food we eat day in day out? Do we think our guests will get up and walk out if, instead of jellof rice and beef stew you served up wild boar ragu on parsnip mash?  I’m playing, I would probably walk out myself but something like stuffed chicken breast served with potatoes dauphinois is a very nice option which has plenty of flavour for the well-seasoned palates and ticks off the chicken option for all the black folk. Controversial statement I know!

I don’t want to get blamed for any radical thoughts but my thinking is you can still have a nice flavourful menu without it having to be the full on food we eat every day. For those of you who refuse to entertain the idea of a non-authentic menu, I also love fusion foods, so Caribbean or African menus with a modern twist. Think ackee and saltfish served in plantain cups or king pepper prawn on a bed of lettuce.

This theory applies to all brides, have a break from your usual Chinese, Italian, Greek foods for one day and mix it up.

One option could be to have a nice summer menu for the wedding breakfast but then bring on the traditional food for the evening food.  We had Jamaican escovitch, Nigerian suya, fried dumplings, fried chicken and patties aka meat pies, as our evening food and it went down a treat. No complaints….well none that I heard anyway.

Now onto drinks. Think warm summer evenings, guests thirsty from sitting through the church ceremony. You guys know that some of those ceremonies are LONG! Plus that lengthy wait for the bride if she is from anywhere other than Britain.  Black brides especially, we do not know time!!! I don’t know why it is. Actually I’ve just decided I’m going to write a post dedicated to wedding timekeeping for you couples in need of help!

Anyway, I digress. What better way to welcome your guests to celebrate with the newest couple in town than with a refreshing tall cocktail. So our favourites, in no particular order;

  • Rum Punch (I lied. Rum punch is number 1 not because I’m Jamaican but because it packs a punch, a few bottles of rum go a long way, it gets your guests relaxed and it says to your guests ‘hello, we are going to have FUN today and you better be ready for it’.
  • You couldn’t get a more British welcome drink if you tried, it would be rude to have a summer wedding and not consider serving Pimms.  It tastes great, all fruity and delicious and it is aesthetically pleasing.   It says to your guests ‘hi, you are at a refined soirée but we are going to turn all the way up a little later so take time for now’.
  • Champagne or prosecco reception…..my personal favourite because, if any of you reading this know me, I freaking LOVE champagne. I don’t even think I need to say anything about this. This says ‘hey friends (and haters who may see pics on social media because you definitely won’t be invited to my wedding), we’re just all about the classic and elegance and we’re going to have a right old boogie proper wedding style.
  • Elderflower cocktail. To be honest I’ve not actually tried this one first hand so I can’t vouch for it personally BUT I have a lot of bartenders and caterers who recommend it. Also a number of friends have said it’s an ideal reception drink. Because I’ve not tasted it myself I can’t tell you what it’s saying to your guests but I’m guessing it says ‘we are trendy and modern and don’t want to do the tried and tested methods mentioned above’ LOL

Obviously it’s not all about the alcohol so here our favourite mocktails which can be served alongside the drinks above so everyone feels catered for.

  • Fruit punch. Think rum punch without the rum. Nuff said.
  • A very popular Nigerian non-alcoholic cocktail with orange juice, lemonade, angostura bitters and other stuff.
  • Fruit mojito mocktails. Lots of mint and crushed ice, fruit juice, lime. Delicious
  • Elderflower & mint sparkle. Elderflower cordial, fresh mint and soda water.
  • Do I need to say anything on this? Well maybe I do. Firstly ensure you have water. Secondly, add some slices of fresh lemon or cucumber for a little flavour.

 

We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on your menus and drinks options. What worked well and not so well?

 

Comments welcome.

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